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Old 01.02.2012, 16:07   #316
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Sunday, January 29, 2012
*************************************
TWO THEORIES
*************************
My pet theory about self-assessed smart Armenians:
they may be smart in one or two fields
but they are idiots in a thousand others.
*
My second theory:
our genocide was a direct result of this imbalance.
*
THE BIGGEST LIE OF ALL
*****************************************
The first and biggest lie that every child is taught to believe
is that all the wars his country fought
were just or defensive wars
against a ruthless and cunning enemy.
It’s astonishing how many adults
continue to believe in that crap.
*
B.S.
********************
The astonishing amount of b.s. in all belief systems
professed even by self-assessed smart men
never ceases to amaze me.
#\\

A GUESSING GAME
*******************************
You can easily guess
what a man doesn’t believe
by what he says he believes.
You can also guess
what a man will not do
by what he promises to do.
Teach yourself to ask:
What’s his angle?
What’s his racket?
What’s in it for him?
If only our leaders
at the turn of the last century
in the Ottoman Empire had asked these question
when the Great Powers of the West
promised to support our political aspirations.
#


Monday, January 30, 2012
*************************************
HONORABLE MEN
*****************************
As an obedient child
I was more vulnerable to indoctrination
than a juvenile delinquent.
It was my ambition to be an honorable man,
a role model, a pillar of society.
It never even occurred to me to ask:
What if the society within which
I was brought up and raised
was rotten?
Brainwashing does two things:
(one) it convinces you that wrong is right, and
(two) it moronizes you.
*
“Not all bishops and imams are rotten,” a reader writes.
Maybe not but they all support a power structure
that is rotten in so far as they legitimize
intolerance, divisions, and murder
in the name of God and Country.
In that sense they (imams and bishops)
are more dangerous than serial killers
because they have been successful in placing themselves
beyond the reach of the law.
*
To how many of my fellow men I could say:
“You may well be an honorable man,
but it is not at all unusual for an honorable man
to support the scum of the earth.”
#
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Old 04.02.2012, 16:33   #317
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Thursday, February 02, 2012
**********************************************
WHERE DID WE GO WRONG?
***************************************
If to be smart means to exploit a situation to one’s advantage, we must be just about the dumbest people on earth.
*
We like to think Turks are not as smart as we are. And yet, when it comes to manipulating world opinion, they might as well belong to a superior race – compared to us that is.
*
There are a thousand ways to be smart as there are a thousand ways to be stupid. If their success so far is a result of our failure, in what way, may I ask, are we smart?
*
We must learn to ask, where did we go wrong, beginning with, why did we allow ourselves to be butchered by a bunch of bloodthirsty morons? And why so far have we failed to convince the Yanks that what we say is the truth and what they say is a lie? The obvious answer is: in diplomacy, a stupid diplomat will be smarter than a cunning rug merchant.
*
As long as we have Oriental rug merchants or similar riffraff as leaders, “mart bidi ch’ellank!” and we will continue to behave like fools forever at the mercy of alien interests, manipulators, and retards.
#
Friday, February 03, 2012
*******************************************
IS GOD AN ARMENIAN?
*********************************************
As a nation are we a success or a failure? It depends. If we were meant to be 70 million or more, we are a failure. If we were meant to be annihilated, we are a success.
*
Many famous Frenchmen (among them Zola, Ionesco, Adamov, Cioran, Yves Montand, Simone Signoret, Sarkozy) are not French. Neither are most Turks Turks, or Greeks Greeks.
What makes a man a Turk? Only his willingness to identify himself as such. Armenians who refuse to identify themselves as Armenians probably outnumber the others. How do I know that? I don’t! I am just guessing. Or, that’s my story and I am sticking to it. I have several friends – smart, successful, educated, and in some ways even brilliant – to whom the Armenian identity is a joke. They make fun of me for my obsession with Armenians – in their view, a lost cause and a complete waste of time. Do I disagree with them? I don’t know. I am not sure.
*
Is my Armenian identity a blessing or a curse? On the day I decide I will be in touch. Is there hope for us? I wish I had an answer. Are things getting better or worse? Only God knows. Is God an Armenian? I like to believe He is. But I suspect Turks have many more reasons to believe He is one of them.
#
Saturday, February 04, 2012
A LETHAL COMBINATION
*******************************************
When told there are good and bad Germans, Thomas Mann explained: “All Germans are a combination of both.”
So are we. So is everybody.
*
American presidential candidates are not liars when they promise to recognize the Genocide but fail to deliver when elected. When told Armenian voters are evenly divided on partisan lines, they have every right to think, If they don’t care enough to present a united front, why should I give a damn?
*
Stalin was not a born killer. No one is. He purged only those who were about to purge him. Which also means, he was fully aware of the fact that he deserved to be purged.
*
So many things in life make perfect sense that one is tempted to believe God
(if He exists) must be a reasonable being.
*
On the radio this morning I heard a pundit say, the most corrupt African nations don’t have a word for corruption. Neither do we. And if we do we don’t use it. We prefer “corruptsia.”
*
There are people so thoroughly brainwashed that they equate all talk of corruption with treason.
*
It took me many years to realize that asking questions is not a capital offense.
*
People may be divided into those who believe everything they are told (I was one of them as a child) and the others.
*
What is democracy if not the fascism of the 1%? #
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Old 08.02.2012, 15:59   #318
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Sunday, February 05, 2012
*******************************************
I COULD BE WRONG
*********************************
There came a time when I became so disgusted with self-righteous Armenians that I was tempted to end everything I write with the words “I could be wrong.”
*
You want to know what’s the worse thing that can happen to a man? Being poor and dependent on the charity of swine.
*
My greatest disappointment? My career as an Armenian writer. Make it, my life as an Armenian.
*
May I confess I don’t understand everything? Sometimes I don’t even understand the things that I think I understand.
*
Thousands attended Thomas Mann’s lectures. Many more attended Hitler’s speeches. Which may suggest, at the beginning may have been the word, but at the end was garbage.
*
Why are you consistently negative? My aim is positive. Things never stay the same. They either get better or worse. By covering up our failings or by pretending they don’t exist, we advance further towards decline and degeneration. I could be wrong.
#
Monday, February 06, 2012
**********************************************
COUSINS
************************
Every day something happens to remind me that God (if He exists) keeps telling me: “I don’t want to get involved. You are on your own.”
*
Both believers and non-believers have doubts. In that sense they are not black and white but shades of gray. They thus share more things in common than they think. They may not be brothers but they are cousins, very much like Sartre and Schweitzer, real-life cousins, great thinkers both, one an atheist, the other a theologian, and both great lovers of J.S. Bach.
#
DENIS DONIKIAN
*************************************
A full page of the 12-18 January, 2012 issue of PARIS MATCH is devoted to Denis Donikian’s latest book, VIDURES (368 pages. 22 euros. Published by Actes Sud). It begins with the words: “Corruption, murders, censorship: this indeed is the present-day tragedy in Yerevan. But in France we prefer to speak of the past and to accuse Turkey of everything that is evil.” Gilles Martin-Chauffier (the author of this article) goes on to identify Denis Donikian as a writer in whose hand “the pen becomes a flame-thrower.” He goes on to equate all talk of genocide recognition as “getting angry at the offspring for the blood their grand-grandparents shed.” He concludes by saying “we wouldn’t even mention these things if Turkey had been an oil-producer. On the contrary, Turkey would now be a member of the European Union.”
*
HALF-FULL OR…
*****************************
Is our glass half-full or half-empty? I am willing to concede that it is half-full or even three-quarters full provided you agree with me that the contents are not fit for human consumption because they are polluted with carcinogenic agents whose first symptom is blindness.
*
THE MORAL OF THE STORY
******************************************
What is the moral of Dickens’ GREAT EXPECTATIONS? According to Jonathan H. Grossman: “You will never fully comprehend the most important events in your life while they are happening. Any plans you make will not work out – and you may grow up to be a jerk.”
#
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
********************************************
BLAMELESS
***********************
Turks are brought up to believe they are blameless. So are we. Blameless means morally superior and I for one do not believe in anyone’s moral superiority especially when it is self-assessed. Remember Orwell’s swine in ANIMAL FARM: they too believed to be morally superior -- “four legs good, two legs bad”; “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”
Remember the Nazis and their claim of superiority. I for one find it extremely difficult to believe that a civilized and progressive nation that has produced some of the greatest and most influential thinker in the history of mankind would allow itself to be taken in by the charlatanism and bare-faced lies of a mediocre and repulsive speechifier – that is to say, a full-time compulsive liar – and allow this nonentity to bankrupt, degrade, humiliate, and ruin the nation. If I had read this scenario in a sci-fi novel I would have accused the writer of going too damn far. Nothing human is alien to me. For many years I too was brought up to believe we were morally superior. I know better today. Do I have a low opinion of my fellow Armenians? Yes, I do, beginning with myself.
#
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Old 11.02.2012, 16:48   #319
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Thursday, February 09, 2012
******************************************
LABELS
**********************
Please don’t call me an Armenian writer. Call me anything you want but that. I can’t imagine a worst insult. Being identified as an Armenian writer is as bad as being called a lawyer (“Please don’t tell my mother I am a lawyer; she thinks I am a pimp.”) When asked to identify my racket, I say I am a retired church organist. More prestige in that, if you know what I am saying. Armenian writers are a dime a dozen and Armenian poets a nickel a gross. I have at no time thought of myself as a member of the club. As for being Armenian: I assure you I had nothing to do with it. It was an accident of birth. First and foremost I consider myself a human being. As for the writer part: I plead not guilty. I just say what I think. Everybody does that without running the risk of being insulted. If you think I am being eccentric in my demands, consider the case of Arab dictators. Does any one of them identify himself as a dictator, let alone a corrupt, megalomaniacal, bloodthirsty s.o.b.? I assert the same right of rejecting all offensive labels, and I thank you in advance for your cooperation. May the Good Lord (if He exists) have mercy on your soul (if you have one).
#
Friday, February 10, 2012
*********************************************
SUMMING UP
******************************
Where there are divisions, the blind shall lead the blind. This is as true of us and the U.S. (Civil War, the 1% versus the 99%) as it is of the rest of mankind (judging by the number of wars, revolutions, and related atrocities). Therefore, never say we are like everyone else. If we want to survive we must do better, much better!
*
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
***************************************
In a world where everyone, including the ****s -- especially the ****s – are proud to be who they are, I loathe pride and find humility to the point of reducing myself to nothingness preferable.
To say I am a proud Armenian is to imply we never had it so good because we are in the best of hands. When I think of our present situation (make it, ****uation) pride is the last word that comes to mind. Loathing? Much better!
*
ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM
IN ARMENIAN LIFE
********************************************
Armenian anti-intellectualism has such deep roots in our collective psyche that even our academics are anti-intellectual. What makes me say that? Elementary, my dear Watson. Our academics are subservient to our bosses, bishops, and benefactors (the commissars of the Diaspora). That’s why none of them dares to say anything against God and capital (make it, Capital and god).
#
Saturday, February 11, 2012
********************************************
DECEPTION
****************************
“Every shut eye ain’t asleep.”
Not everyone who pleads insanity is insane.
Even cold-blooded murderers may plead self-defense.
Nothing is what it seems.
For every truth there are ten thousand lies.
Imagine a history of mankind without deceivers and dupes.
To enslave in the name of freedom
and to go to war in the name of peace:
these are not rare but routine occurrences.
When no one deceives us we deceive ourselves.
Even as I write I deceive myself into thinking
what I write may make a difference.
#
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Old 15.02.2012, 16:04   #320
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Sunday, February 12, 2012
*************************************************
SOMETIME THINGS
***********************************
The ambition of every regime is to last a thousand years. They never make it. Their premature death is as certain as taxes. That’s because not matter how hard they try they can’t be successful in brainwashing everybody. This is as true of Turks as it is of Armenians.
*
Dissidents are silenced because they expose the incompetence of the power structure and its so-called educational system, which is in reality a brainwashing apparatus.
*
When the USSR collapsed, its lies were exposed. The Civil Rights movement in the U.S. exposed the lies of racism. In our own days the lies of capitalism and the free enterprise (“greed is good”) are being exposed by the 99%. As for the lies of organized religions: they are in a sense one another’s most important dissenting voices and as such one another’s judge, jury, and hangman.
*
Diamonds may be forever, but regimes are only a sometime thing.
#
Monday, February 13, 2012
******************************************
UNWARRANTED ASSUMPTIONS &
OUTRAGEOUS IMPLICAATIONS
************************************************
To say God is on our side is to imply our enemies are in cahoots with the Devil.
*
To say the actions of our revolutionaries in the Ottoman Empire were justified reactions to unbearable conditions is to imply for 600 years we behaved like “faithful servants” because we didn’t know any better or, under certain conditions, cowardice and ignorance can be morally justified.
*
To say that the exodus of 1,5000,000 Armenians from the Homeland is an inevitable consequence of unfortunate circumstances is to imply, under certain conditions, genocide is not a crime against humanity but an inevitable fact of life.
*
To say we are unique or better is to imply we have a license to invent a thousand little lies that will prove our Big Lie to be the truth, the only truth, and nothing but the truth.
#
PORTRAIT OF AN ARMENIAN PATRIOT
AS A YOUNG MAN
********************************************************
First and foremost he is an apologist of the status quo. He has a seemingly reasonable explanation for every blunder and failing, which means he is an expert player of the blame-game. It follows, we never had it so good because we are in the best of hands and anyone who dares to say otherwise is a pro-Turkish s.o.b. who should be silenced and whenever possible squashed like a bug. He is so convinced that he is smart that even when he utters asinine inanities he does so with the conviction that he is delivering gems of wisdom worthy of a Socrates. He may never say he is infallible in his judgments but every fiber in his Armenian body tells a different story. He believes the so-called civilized and democratic West speaks with a forked tongue. We don’t! That’s because we are as pure as the driven snow, as innocent as an egg, and butter wouldn’t melt in our mouth…or anywhere else for that matter. Contradict him and make yourself vulnerable to a torrent of abuse worthy of a pirate. If you think I am exaggerating, think again. Because so far I have been describing myself as a young man. I do hope you were not as thoroughly brainwashed as I was.
#
Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012
***************************************************
BULLIES
*******************************
There is a lot of talk about bullies in schoolyards these days.
What about bullies in politics, diplomacy, organized religions, bureaucracy, justice system, workplace...
If a man kills in the name of God,
who is the guilty party?
In the Old Testament God order a father to butcher his son.
And when His own son was being crucified,
did He lift a finger?
If bullying is cancer, power is its sole carcinogenic agent.
*
A headline in my morning paper today:
“Baseball bat a hit in China – as defensive weapon.”
*
Overheard: “How do you say pizza in Italian?”
#
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Old 18.02.2012, 16:13   #321
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Thursday, February 16, 2012
*********************************************
FOOLS
***********************
It has been said that if you deal with fools
you run the risk of becoming one.
Is this a scientifically established fact
or a theory of uncertain provenance?
I don’t know. I am not sure.
Speaking for myself,
I am personally acquainted with a Turcocentric ghazetaji
who, when contradicted, behaves like a Turk
with total unawareness of the metamorphosis.
*
Politicians operate like lawyers: it is their job
to defend their side at any cost even if their
side or client happens to be a serial killer.
To this day Talaat, Mussolini, Stalin, and Hitler
have their friends in the same way that Lincoln,
FDR, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King have their
enemies.
#
Friday, February 17, 2012
*******************************************
The 1% are job creators? Bull****. If the 99% stopped buying the products and services provided by the 1%, the whole system would collapse.
#
Saturday, February 18, 2012
***************************************
HISTORY AS GOSSIP
****************************************
When we speak of the past
we tend to forget that what we speak about
is a carefully edited version of it –
as carefully and drastically edited as the official Turkish version
in which the atrocities committed against defenseless innocent civilians
are treated as justified military action
whose sole intent was to maintain the territorial integrity of the nation.
What could be more blameless?
What could be more exemplary and worthy of universal admiration?
*
We speak of the past in order to avoid speaking of the present –
which in many ways is as grim as the past.
Something similar happens in gossip:
to avoid speaking of our own failings
we speak about the failings of others.
To those so-called historians
in whose hands history has become the gossip of nations, I say:
So far you have been successful in fooling many people most of the time,
but no banquet under heaven is endless.
#
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Old 22.02.2012, 16:52   #322
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Sunday, February 19, 2012


******************************************

THE 11TH COMMANDMENT
***********************************************
America will not recognize the Genocide as long as (one) we divide our votes evenly between Democrats and Republican, and (two) we call America’s enemies our friends (Russia, Iran, Syria) and America’s friends (Turks) our enemies. We may succeed in obtaining the support of individual senators and congressmen if we invest millions on them; but we will never budge the Administration. Everybody knows this, including our Panchoonies – especially our Panchoonies – who expect us to believe with enough money success will be inevitable. Money may buy the cooperation of pimps and whores but self-interest is what moves nations and empires. We are neither an empire nor a nation; at best we may identify ourselves as puppets and dupes who are easily taken in by the empty rhetoric (both foreign and domestic) of cynical manipulators who will say and do anything in defense of their own narrow and selfish interests.
For 600 years the Turks wanted us to believe they were our masters and protectors and we believed them – or, let’s say, we lived as though we did; in the same way that under the Soviets we believed the Russians to be our Big Brothers; and today we have placed our trust in former agents of the KGB. Before we demand friendship and brotherhood from others, let us teach ourselves to be real friends of our real brothers. There is no commandment that says “Thou shalt not be a dupe,” but that doesn’t being dupes is an inevitable fact of life imposed on us by the Good Lord.
#
Monday, February 20, 2012
********************************************
FRIENDS
*****************************
When I say Turks may well be our best friends,
I don’t mean the present regime and its dupes.
What I have in mind are Turks who can think for themselves
and Turks who identify themselves as Turks
the way Americans identify themselves as Americans.
Turkey has its share of dissidents, critics, and hostile ethnic minorities
in the same way that America has its blacks, natives, Latinos,
and other minorities who don’t vote
or if they do, they vote to unseat the present administration.
Turkey is not a monolithic structure but a mosaic.
Remember that next time you are tempted to identify Turks
as direct descendants of Talaat who was himself anything but a Turk.
*
My guess is, as in all democracies, 50% of Turks don’t bother to vote
because they don’t trust politicians and their empty rhetoric.
And then there are the women who have no reason to support
a patriarchal status quo.
*
I suggest when it comes to concessions and compromises,
we may have a better chance to get them from friends
as opposed to enemies.
I say therefore let us not allow our hatred of the 1%
to contaminate our potential friendship with the 99%.
And to our Turcocentric ghazetajis and speechifiers I say:
Treat a man like an enemy and he will act as one.
Treat a man like a friend and you may have better results.
#
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
***************************************************
FROM MY NOTEBOOKS
**************************************
Only the silent are beyond criticism,
and sometimes not even they.
*
Opinions are a dime a dozen.
All the gold in the world can’t buy the truth.
*
Faith is 99% wishful thinking.
*
What if what’s happening in North Africa and the Middle East today happens in Russia? That’s the nightmare of the regime in Yerevan. They had their kicks. Time to pay the price.
*
All men of power believe truth to be on their side.
If they are not Stalinists they are crypto-Stalinists. Stalin lives. Nothing bad ever dies.
*
To the oversensitive, life is a succession of traumatic experiences.
*
To autocrats everywhere, freedom is a carcinogenic agent. So is justice to kleptocrats.
*
Living by the sword and ruling by fear are synonymous.
# Wednesday, February 22, 2012
*******************************************
I COULD BE WRONG…
*********************************
In everything I am about to say, I could be wrong.
*
Our destiny as a nation may change
on the day our bosses, bishops, and benefactors teach themselves to say,
“I could be wrong because as human beings
none of us is in a position to assert infallibility.”
*
A Tashnak leader once said to me:
“The source of all our misfortunes is the ‘chezok’ (non-partisan)
who contributes nothing to our collective existence.
He is neither black nor white.
Neither hot nor cold.
Neither for or against anything.”
When I informed him that I am a chezok,
so was my father because he was too busy trying to provide for his family i
n an alien environment in time of war, he said:
“I am sorry, I thought you were one of us.”
Please note that he didn’t say he was wrong in blaming our misfortunes on others
but only in thinking I was a member of the tribe, club, family, or mafia.
*
An Armenian may admit error in insignificant things
only to assert infallibility in big things.
Mart bidi ch’ellank.
*
In singling out a Tashnak leader I did not mean to exculpate the others.
We all swim in the same soup.
Throughout our millennial history
we have been at the mercy of infallible men –
kings, sultans, commissars, and today Panchoonies.
So much so that in the minds of our “betters”
infallibility is perceived as an integral part of leadership.
But I could be wrong.
*
Please note that I lied when I said I was non-partisan.
If truth be told, I am anti-partisan.
*
Do you really think I am being too tough on our bosses, bishops, and benefactors? Allow me to explain that I live in a tough neighborhood
and I happen to be in a very tough business – namely,
that of resurrecting cadavers.
But again, I could be wrong…
#
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Old 25.02.2012, 16:21   #323
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Thursday, February 23, 2012
*******************************************
MEMO
TO OUR EXILED DISSIDENT “AGHBER”S.
*****************************************************
You have every right to oppose the regime in Yerevan that took away all your privileges and kicked you out of your beloved homeland, as I have every right to ask: “What exactly did you do in the Soviet era to earn your privileges?”
*
SPEECHIFIERS
*****************************
If he speaks in the name of God,
the chances are he is a practicing atheist.
If he speaks in the name of Country,
the chances are he is a traitor.
If he speaks in the name of law and order,
the chances are he is with the 1%.
Don’t get me wrong. I see nothing questionable
in God, Country, and law and order.
But I see something horribly wrong in big lies and small minds;
also in high ideals and low IQs.
#
Q/A
***********************
Speaking of our aghbers: If you want to know what I would have done in their place, I will say: Very probably what they did, but having done so I wouldn’t parade as a superpatriot, a role model, or a man of integrity. Instead I would spend the rest of my life coming to terms with the fact that I was no better than a piece of ****.
*
Friday, February 24, 2012
****************************************
FROM MY NOTEBOOKS
************************
When a reader disagrees with me, I rejoice in the knowledge that he took the trouble to read me and to understand what he read. For reading and understanding are rare virtues, especially for an Armenian who is convinced he already knows and understands everything.
*
In a corrupt environment, crooks are outnumbered only by their lawyers, victims, and dupes.
*
A regime that supports Syria will not hesitate to kill its own citizens after calling them terrorists.
*
The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of the Devil are not two separate topographical entities with different boundaries, but one and the same.
*
Bias is universal. Resistance to bias is a slowly and painfully acquired habit.
#
Saturday, February 25, 2012
******************************************
ARE WE SMART?
******************************
We have been moronized into thinking we are. But we aren’t.
What chance did we have to develop our brain power under sultans and commissars whose “faithful servants” and “useful idiots” we were?
How smart are we if we support institutions that are in the business of dividing the community?
“Our political leaders have been of no political use to us,” Zarian said. I will go further and say, they have been at the root of all our problems.
We don’t need leaders. What we need are public servants.
Notwithstanding the propaganda line of our Turcocentric ghazetajis, Turks are not our main problem. We are.
Or rather, our subservience is. Once upon a time we were slaves. We are now slaves of former slaves.
I say and repeat: We are not smart; we have been moronized!
#
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Old 29.02.2012, 16:27   #324
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Sunday, February 26, 2012
*********************************************
PRAYER
**************
“Almighty God, help me to love my fellow men regardless of whether or not they believe what I believe. Let me never call a man an infidel or heretic, even if he happens to be one, for he too is your handwork.”
*
ON FAITH
**********************
We like to believe religious faith is a good thing notwithstanding the fact that historic evidence proves otherwise, which may suggest man values his illusions above reality.
*
OUR 1%
***********************
We have our 1% and its “useful idiots” -- with one difference: the idiots believe to be not just smart but smarter than anyone else.
*
MORONISM
*************************
To me the quintessence of moronism is to be found in a self-assessed Armenian genius.
*
An Armenian may think of himself as cunning as a fox even he is dumber than a jackass.
#
Monday, February 27, 2012
*********************************************
INVESTIGATIONS
******************************
When something goes wrong, don’t blame people, blame human nature; and don’t blame human nature, blame reality -- and not just that part of reality which you perceive and understand (or think you do) but also the fraction that is beyond your perception and understanding.
*
As a rule men are held responsible for minor transgressions but not for major ones –murders, yes; wars, no; serial killing, yes; massacres and genocides, not always.
*
If you think I am being too critical of my fellow Armenians, my question to you is: Have you ever had a heart-to-heart talk with a Ramgavar (on Tashnaks)? Or with a Catholic (on Protestants)? Or with an Armenian who supports the status quo with one who is of the opposite disposition? Or are all your friends of the same political ideology and faith?
*
If you say all men must be held responsible for their actions, then I ask: Who is responsible for our divisions and all the misfortunes that resulted from them?
*
We may indeed be free agents; but we are also blind men who pretend to have 20/20 vision.
*
When it comes to democratic rule, Turks may indeed be ahead of us. This is not my opinion but that of the international press. Explain that if you can. So you think the world is blind and we know better? I say and repeat: Only an ass assesses himself and believes in his own assessment.
*
I don’t criticize Armenians because they have committed blunders. I criticize them because they keep committing the same blunders without realizing what they are doing. And why? Because they have been systematically moronized.
#
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
******************************************
NOT YET…
*************************
Ask an Armenian whether he is for or against the status quo and the chances are he will say he is against it because to be for it means to be for divisiveness, alienation in the Diaspora, and exodus from the Homeland, and ultimately “sbidak chart” (white massacre). Ask the same Armenian if he thinks we are in good hands and the chances are he will say we are. How to explain this contradiction? Most so-called patriotic Armenians are brought up to believe patriotism means subservience or loyalty to the leadership, totally unaware of the fact that in an undemocratic environment the word loyalty acquires a fascist dimension and dissent is equated with treason. Empires and nations have collapsed because of the people’s misguided sense of loyalty to corrupt and incompetent rulers. This is what happened in the USSR and this is what’s happening today in Syria. And to those who say we are not killing our own citizens and demolishing our own cities, all I can say is, no, not yet!
#
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
****************************************
FROM MY NOTEBOOKS
*********************************
I have been wrong so many times that I no longer aim at being right; only at not being catastrophically wrong. As for being infallible, I leave that to our former KGB agents in the Homeland and chic Bolsheviks in the Diaspora.
*
The evidence may be against me but I refuse to believe that coming to terms with reality means being a dupe to deceivers.
*
If your sources on Armenian history have been Armenian, you might as well admit to yourself that you know nothing on the subject and you understand even less.
*
These days if a man can do two things at the same time – say, like chewing gum and farting – he is called as a Renaissance man.
#
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Old 03.03.2012, 16:14   #325
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Thursday, March 01, 2012
***************************************
ON POWER
*************************
No matter how you slice it,
you will always end up with the 1%
engaged in deceiving, misleading, and exploiting the 99%.
Take away the mumbo jumbo and
a so-called great or charismatic leader
will be exposed as an ordinary Joe like you and me
who is trying to do his best
and ends up doing the worst.
By mumbo jumbo I mean what goes on today in the United States – primaries: speeches, debates, TV ads, interviews…
So what is the solution?
There is none!
I like this sentence by Toynbee:
“Comprehension sometimes consists in just a correct understanding of questions that are unanswerable.”
Only to the brainwashed everything is as clear as daylight.
#
Friday, March 02, 2012
*************************************
ASSUMPTIONS
*******************************
Our most fundamental assumptions may be invisible to us but they are clearly visible to others.
*
We are not all white, neither are our enemies all black. We are not even shades of gray. We are brown…
*
As I see it, the main function of our pundits, academics and ghazetajis is to convince the 99% that we owe our survival to our 1%. This may suggest the only contribution of our 99% to our history has been to provide victims.
*
If I succeed it will be only because I have added my inaudible whisper to the chorus of countless predecessors.
*
We are better at burying than resurrecting.
*
Berlusconi: “Am I faithful? Frequently.”
#
Saturday, March 03, 2012
***************************************
ON THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY
IN HUMAN AFFAIRS
************************************************
Our Turcocentric ghazetajis love honest Turks like Orhan Pamuk and Taner Akcam but hate honest Armenians. In their eyes Turkish political leaders are the scum of the earth and their Armenian counterparts la crème de la crème.
In the eyes of their own people Genghis Khan, Timurlang, and Kemal are great men.
You want to know more about our own General Antranik?
Ask an Azeri or read an Azeri historian. You may not get the truth but you may have a more balanced view.
In the eyes of some Georgians (also Armenians and Russians) Stalin was a great leader.
Propaganda is a bad judge of character.
A hero is never a hero in the eyes of his victims.
In the eyes of some great men other great men are midgets. (See Churchill on Gandhi.)
Greatness, very much like success in Hollywood, is relative: the closer the relative, the greater the success.
#
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Old 07.03.2012, 16:20   #326
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Sunday, March 04, 2012
********************************************
INSANITY
****************************
If world history has been shaped by conventional wisdom, give me insanity so that I may keep my sanity.
Like Brando’s
“I could have been a contender,” sometimes I cannot help thinking, I could have been a plumber with a regular income, a family, children, grandchildren, a circle of beer-guzzling pals…But perhaps on some other level am I not a plumber? -- and more precisely like the American plumber who had the following motto printed on his business card: “Your **** is my bread and butter.”
Which reminds me of the dissident who, when asked to identify himself, replied: “I am a ****-disturber.”
We live in an environment where dealing in crap is more profitable than exposing it.
*
Mirabeau on Talleyrand: “He would sell his soul for money, and he would-be right, for he would be exchanging dung for gold.” It is to be noted that Mirabeau was beheaded in his early forties, and Talleyrand died in bed in his eighties.
For more on this subject see A FIRST-RATE MADNESS: UNCOVERING THE LINKS BETWEEN LEADERSHIP AND MENTAL ILLNESS by Nassir Ghaemi (New York, 2011), where we are told that mental illness may indeed be a necessary ingredient in all great leadership.
There may be some truth in that.
But I suspect there may be even more truth in the assertion that what drives great leaders insane is power.
#
Monday, March 05, 2012
*******************************************
THE NEW ARMENIAN
************************************
One of the worst mistakes a woman can make, Dorothy Parker tells us, is to fall in love. That’s because by falling in love she places all her eggs in a single bastard.
Throughout our history we too have placed all our eggs in single bastards: if it’s not the Sultan, it’s the commissar; and if it’s not the commissar, it’s our own bosses, bishops, and benefactors.
*
Scientists around the world, we are told, discover and name new species all the time. I wonder if they will ever discover the new Armenian that Zarian spoke about: the Armenian who neither curses nor laments his fate; neither begs nor protests; neither boasts of his past achievements nor his present celebrities.
The new Armenian knows what must be done and does it. He knows that so far he has been on the wrong path. He understands that his so-called virtues are extensions of weakness, cowardice, and greed; and his vices results of ignorance and stupidity.
*
Because I dare to say these things am I your enemy?
Only if you think with the old brain.
Did I say brain?
Please forgive the overstatment.
#
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
************************************
SO WHAT ELSE IS NEW?
*********************************************
It is not my wisdom that I try to share but my outrage.
Catholics have their child-molesting priests;
Russians their plutocrats and former KGB agents;
the Yanks their 1%; and you think we never had it so good
because we are in the best of hands?
*
Trying to reason with an Armenian who has made up his mind (if you will forgive the overstatement) is akin to mating with a shark.
*
Every line of work has its recurring experiences. With lawyers it’s the career criminal who wants to plead not guilty; with Armenian writers it’s cyberbullies pretending to speak in the name of God and Country.
*
We don’t have a silent majority. What we have is a brainwashed majority capable of processing only platitudes delivered by baloney artists.
*
Once upon a time there was a man called Financial Success and he had a twin brother called Moral Bankruptcy.
#
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
*****************************************
THE IRONY OF ALL IRONIES
************************************************
We are most catastrophically wrong
when we think we are absolutely right.
History provides us with so many examples
of this most common of all aberrations:
Paris falling in love and abducting Helen.
The Athenian jury condemning Socrates to death
on the assumption that they were getting rid of a nuisance.
The pope persecuting, torturing, and even killing anyone who dared to question his infallibility.
Napoleon attacking Russia.
Hitler declaring war on two fronts.
Stalin purging his ablest men thus planting the seeds of his empire’s disintegration.
The United States adopting the domino theory in Vietnam;
and before that, the South declaring war on the North
in defense of its right to enslave fellow human beings.
And now, closer to home:
notwithstanding the Biblical injunction, adopting the absurd notion that a house divided against itself has a better chance to stand;
our revolution at the turn of the last century in the Ottoman Empire which has been compared to a mouse trying to rape an elephant; and last but far from least, cyberbullies attacking dissidents who support free speech and democratic reforms in both the Homeland and the Diaspora, and doing so in the name of patriotism.
#
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Old 10.03.2012, 16:47   #327
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Thursday, March 08, 2012
*********************************************
CRITICIZING THE CRITIC
**********************************************
Just because some readers agree with what I say
that doesn’t make me infallible.
The opposite is also true:
just because some say I am not just wrong but dangerous, bad, and hostile to the nation, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are in a position to deliver a final verdict.
*
There are also some readers who are eager to inform me that
when I say Armenians are bad,
I do nothing but project my own failing onto them.
These readers must be mind readers because
that’s exactly what I do.
*
Like most Armenians I too believed what I was told
by my schoolteachers, parish priests, and scout masters.
I was born and raised in an Armenian ghetto,
I had an Armenian education and went to church regularly.
I even served mass.
Very probably I have kissed more hands and asses
than most Armenians.
Even as an adult I wrote newspaper commentaries and books
in which I did nothing but recycle chauvinist crapola.
*
And now from the specific to the general:
the only way to explain and justify the majority of Russians
under Stalin, Germans under Hitler, Italians under Mussolini,
Turks under Talaat and Kemal (and I could go on…)
is to say that they suffered from infantilism.
They never learned to think for themselves;
they trusted their superiors implicitly
and they repeated slogans and clichés
with the consciousness of retarded parrots.
*
My message to my critics is therefore very brief and to the point:
“Grow up!”
#
Friday, March 09, 2012
*****************************************
CONTEMPT
******************************
A good friend of mine has coined a word for self-satisfied dupes
who take themselves seriously: he calls them “inknahivans.”
Not being as inventive, I call them inbred morons.
More accessible. More blunt. My style.
*
Churchill’s contempt for Gandhi
and Nabokov’s contempt for Sartre (also of Freud and Mann)
have the same root:
the contempt of the aristocracy
for the bourgeoisie.
The blind leading the blind
and the incompetent leading the ignorant:
there you have it: an explanation of so many of our catastrophes.
Our history might as well be variations on this theme.
*
As for solution: I doubt if there is a single Armenian today
who does not know what our problems and their solutions are.
Even a child knows where divisions are the problems,
solidarity is the solution.
Where worship of money is the problem,
respect for ideas is the solution.
Where censorship is the rule,
free speech is the solution.
#
Saturday, March 10, 2012
*********************************************
ACCUSATIONS
**********************************
“You have a low opinion of your fellow Armenians.”
Not all of them. I speak only of Armenians I have known and dealt with.
*
“You are an atheist.”
It is not the existence of God that I reject but the things that are done in His name.
*
“You have been writing for thirty years now. What have you changed?”
Nothing. But I do not consider that my fault. Communities, societies, nations, even empires, civilizations, and cultures can fail as surely as individuals.
*
“How can you judge Armenians without setting foot on Armenian soil?”
The soil has never been my target.
*
“You have pro-Turkish sympathies.”
I respect all honest men regardless of nationality – and that includes Turks as well as Armenians.”
*
“You speak of Armenian affairs but you refuse to get involved in them.”
We have more than our share of “mi kich pogh” Panchoonies. As for speechifiers and sermonizers: If I were to speak my mind as opposed to recycling the usual crap, I would be tarred, feathered, and driven out on a jackass by the Jack S. Avanakians in the audience.
*
“You are not a historian. Your knowledge of Armenian history is sketchy. And yet you deliver judgments on the subject.”
You don’t have to know everything about anything in order to form an opinion. My knowledge of Russian, German, and Italian history is sketchy too but I know that Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini were on the wrong track. I know about human rights and free speech – concepts alien to our ruling classes. I know that democracy is better than fascism, authoritarianism, and paternalism – the fallacy that says those in power know better because they are wiser. If anything the opposite is true. Power has at no time improved anyone’s character or enhanced his wisdom; and anyone who says otherwise is a liar.
#
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Old 14.03.2012, 15:06   #328
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Sunday, March 11, 2012
*******************************************
ON GENOCIDE
****************************
Our genocide is an expression not only of Turkish criminality but also our arrogance and incompetence; and when we emphasize the first and cover up the second, we fool no one but ourselves. We thus become our own deceivers and dupes.
*
ON GOOD AND EVIL
*******************************
If we assume the existence of other dimensions beside our own, we must also admit the possibility that in at least one of them all our contradictions, including that of good and evil, or God and the Devil, will be resolved or reconciled.
*
ON WOMEN
***************************
The woman you fall in love with and the woman you marry are two different beings even when they are one and the same. Hence the Greek myth of the lovely bride who on the wedding night reveals herself to be a tangled knot of hissing serpents. Something similar could be said of ideologies and belief systems: they look lovely until put into practice. Hence the saying “When dreams come true they turn into nightmares.”
*
ON SURVIVAL
********************************
If we are survivors, what would you call cockroaches – an endangered species? Am I comparing Armenians to cockroaches? No, of course not! I have never heard a cockroach brag.
#
Monday, March 12, 2012
**************************************
ROTGUT
*********************************
Some readers disagree with me simply because
they hate to be reminded that two plus two makes four.
*
My taste buds have been so thoroughly corrupted by cheap booze that if some day I am offered a glass carbonated urine and told it’s champagne from the Napoleonic era
I will pretend to enjoy every drop of it.
That’s exactly the situation with the average Armenian
and propaganda. He has been exposed to so many big lies that he believes propaganda to be a harmless version of reality and our leaders have our own best interests at heart.
*
There is addiction to big lies as surely there is addiction to nicotine, alcohol, painkillers, and heroin. What rotgut does to your taste buds, propaganda does to your brain cells.
#
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
**********************************************
IDEAS
*******************************
“A man with an idea is my enemy,” Napoleon is quoted as having said.
Hitler and Stalin took ideas seriously too.
So much so that they murdered anyone whose ideas they didn’t like.
Which is why a smart Armenian is one who pretends to have none.
*
A smart Armenian equates life with propaganda and ideas with death.
*
The ideas of our Turcocentric ghazetajis may be summed up with three words: Turks, Turks, and Turks.
*
Our so-called patriotism and nationalism never rise above tribalism.
*
If you want to understand the soul of a nation, read its writers.
If you want to know the way people deceive themselves, read a collection of political speeches.
#
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
**********************************************
A STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND
*******************************************
You think I am too critical of my fellow Armenians and I think no one can be critical enough.
*
If you love for the wrong reasons you will hate for the right ones.
*
I was brought up to love my fellow Armenians. No one ever warned me to stay away from them – as Michael (THE GREEN HAT) Arlen did his son (PASSAGE TO ARARAT).
*
So what if I will never be a popular writer? Armenians don’t need popular writers; they already have Arlen and Saroyan – that should be more than enough for the rest of their historic existence.
*
When will we grow up as a nation? On the day we discuss our problems without mentioning Turks.
*
If Socrates married a shrew, who among us will dare to say he will not make the same mistake?
*
I was educated by monks and I have no illusions about them. And yet, I lead a monastic existence. Figure that one out if you can.
#
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Old 17.03.2012, 15:59   #329
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Thursday, March 15, 2012
********************************************
HYENAS
*****************************
Mitt Romney: I keep thinking of him as the offspring
of Bugs Bunny and a Tasmanian she-devil.

The only reason some Republicans pretend to love him
is that they hate Obama even more;
and they have so many reasons to hate him:
he is a Democrat, black,
and engages in class warfare.
What class warfare?
Instead of calling it class warfare
they should call it the triumph of greed.
In war people die.
As far as I know no one among the 1%
has shed a single drop of blood.
We have a saying: “Kogh sirde togh.”
Freely translated: “Larceny, paranoia.”
*
Ben Ali, Mubarak, Gadhaffy: they were not just bad leaders but also and above all physically repulsive hyenas.
In their choice of leaders Muslims appear to be
deaf, dumb, and stupid.
And I wonder, Are we any better?
Dzour nesdink shidag khossink.
#
Friday, March 16, 2012
***************************************
FASCISTS
**********************************
Once a fascist, always a fascist.
Other nations – including Georgia to the north – had their fascist phase and are now democracies even when it meant going to war against Russia.
Not us.
That’s because we have been brainwashed to believe
we are too smart to be brainwashed.
Even after the Hamidian massacres,
an intellectual giant like Zohrab stubbornly remained steadfast in his subservience and faith in the Turkish ruling classes.
Even when on the eve of the Genocide he changed his mind
and warned his fellow Armenians of the coming catastrophe,
they said “Zohrab effendi is exaggerating.”
They trusted Turks more than their fellow Armenian
even when he happened to be a highly respected intellectual, lawyer, and diplomat of Zohrab’s stature.
Too smart to be brainwashed?
Rather, too blind to read the writing on the wall.
To those who say, “What do you expect us to do? Go to war against Russia?” No, nothing of the kind.
But what we can do is at least try to convince the Kremlin
that as a democracy we can be much more useful to them. Compared to Stalin, Putin is a faceless bureaucratic nonentity.
His fall is inevitable.
Russia will democratize.
But I have every reason to suspect
even after Russia democratizes,
Armenia will remain fascist with the full support
of our even more anti-democratic institutions in the Diaspora. Once a fascist, always a fascist.
#
Saturday, March 17, 2012
***************************************
BIG LIES
***********************
If we define tyranny or fascism as the rule of the 1%,
we shall have to conclude that American democracy is a farce;
it is in fact a pseudo-democracy.
But American democracy does not interest me as much as Armenian democracy, which might as well be an oxymoron – with the emphasis on the last two syllables: a democracy by morons for morons. And now go right ahead and call Armenians smart.
*
There are some truths that are self-evident,
such as, “I think therefore I am not” – though the opposite
(“I don’t think therefore I am not”) is far from true.
There are other so-called truths
that owe their existence to propaganda --
that is to say the approval by a power structure,
repetition, and general consent.
Some of the worst and most dangerous lies are “truths” of this kind – “truths” of organized religions, for instance,
or “truths” legitimized by non-representative or anti-democratic power structures, such as: the authority of a king, sultan, or pope bears God’s seal of approval.
Again and again history has exposed this type of truth to be a Big Lie, and yet, people, the masses, the majority of mankind continue not only to believe in them but are also willing
to kill and die in their defense.
*
And now, from metaphysics to physics,
or as Marxists used to say,
“Let us rise from the general to the specific.”
My question to you, gentle reader, is:
Are you or have you ever been a dupe
who believes this type of Big Lie to be
the truth, the only truth, and nothing but the truth?
No need for an answer now.
Just reflect on it in your spare time even if it means once a year or once in your lifetime."
#
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Old 21.03.2012, 16:00   #330
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Sunday, March 18, 2012
****************************************
LA CRÈME DE LA CRÈME
******************************************
First, they lead us to massacre
after which they have trouble convincing the world
that the massacre took place and is not
a figment of our collective imagination;
after which they violate the human right of anyone
who dares to say anything remotely critical about them;
after which they expect us to believe
we never had it so good
because we are in the best of hands;
after which they enjoy the support of the community –
or at least a fraction of it.
*
When our “aghber”s in the Homeland call us aghber,
they expect us to believe they,
and by extension their own leadership,
subscribe to a superior brand of Armenianism
and butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths
or anywhere else for that matter.
*
If any one of our writers had survived
Talaat’s and Stalin’s bloodbath,
what would he have said about this gigantic hoax
perpetrated against the nation?
No need to use our imagination.
We already have the testimony of a witness for the prosecution –
an intellectual giant and a man of unimpeachable integrity:
Gostan Zarian – and I quote:
“Our political parties have been of no political use to us.
Their greatest enemy is free speech.”
#
Monday, March 19, 2012
*********************************************
THE ARMENIAN WAY
***********************************
The very same individuals who so far have succeeded only
in dividing the community now say
“Armenians are ungovernable.”
If you can blame others, why assume responsibility?
That’s the Armenian way.
The scandal is not that some Armenians,
who ought to know better,
make absurd assertions but that they are believed.
*
If I were to say for every truth
there are ten thousand lies,
there will always be a reader who will say
the right number is not 10,000 but 9,999 or 10,001.
I know this to be a fact because once upon a time
I was such a reader.
*
Some of my readers remind me of sharks
circling and waiting for traces of blood to appear in the water.
#
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
*******************************************
REFLECTIONS
**************************
What I write may be described as a faint echo
of what for better men than I have said.
(For more on this subject
see my DICTIONARY OF ARMENIAN QUOTATIONS.)
*
A self-righteous Armenians can be as ruthless
as a bloodthirsty Turk.
(After writing this line I am reminded of Zarian’s dictum:
“An Armenian’s tongue can be sharper
than a Turk’s yataghan.”)
*
A smart Armenian?
I would like to meet one even if it means
revising all my favorite arguments.
*
If I appear as a perennial loser
it may be because I challenge those in authority
only with my reason,
whereas they can retaliate with the might
of Almighty God and capital --
make it Almighty Capital and god.
#
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
*******************************************
IN PRAISE OF DOUBT
*************************************
When a man says he has fathered eleven sons
and he is proud of all ten of them,
the question you want to ask is,
“What’s wrong with the eleventh?”
Likewise, when a man asserts his certainties,
you want to know more about his doubts.
The chances are such a man will pretend to have none.
Sultans, emperors, dictators, popes, imams, rabbis:
they are all men with certainties.
Reason is powerless against them.
Only time can prove them wrong.
Sometimes not even that.
The blunders and crimes of the papacy are endless.
And yet, it has lost none of its popularity and prestige
in the eyes of millions.
*
What an Armenian finds inconceivable
is the possibility of another Armenian
knowing something he doesn’t.
*
Friends tell me to block or delete annoying messages
posted by individuals who contribute nothing to a discussion.
If so far I have rejected their advice
it’s because I believe in free speech
which gives everyone an equal chance
to make an ass of himself in public.
*
One way to win an argument
is by being incomprehensible.
#
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